by Liesl Hays

Most businesses recognize the importance of hiring the right person, but day-to-day demands leave little time to focus on strategic recruiting. It is estimated the cost of recruiting, onboarding and hiring a new employee is $240,000 (SHRM, 2017). This means if you get it right, an employee has the potential to bring at least $240,000 worth of value to your business over the course of their career. However, we’ve all made bad hiring decisions at one point or have been placed on a team with a wrong-fit individual. You know the cost of a bad hire to the business all too well: negative impact on employee morale, strained employee/client relationships, incomplete projects and potential litigation fees. The cost
of getting it right is increasingly apparent.

1. Your employer brand matters
In an increasing digital world, your employer brand must be highly visible and highly attractive. Today, most potential employees find your business. Your brand should reflect your culture, values and what matters most to your organization. Start small by integrating your employer brand into your social media platform. Highlight your employees, why they work
for your company and what they love about your culture. For inspiration, check out Heineken’s recent employer brand called “Go Places.”

2. Develop candidate-focused job descriptions
Job descriptions that only list attributes and skills are causing employers to miss out on qualified candidates (Deloitte, 2017). Job descriptions that focus on the applicant yield three times as many highly rated applicants. Let the candidate know what you’re looking for but keep the focus on them highlighting career advancement, autonomy and opportunities. For inspiration, check out Epic Systems’ career page.

3. Review job descriptions regularly
Re-evaluate job descriptions at least once every two years or when a job significantly changes. Make sure to include business leaders, managers and individuals performing the work into this process. If you’re a smaller organization, pull trusted advisors into this process. Make sure you use solid benchmarking data from other career sites like Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, etc. You’re not the first person to hire a controller or a key account manager so use the data that already exists in the market to help create your job descriptions.

4. Move from checking credentials to evaluating skills
Move beyond behavioral interviewing questions and resume checking to evaluating candidate skills. This can be done through the creation of a simulation where you give applicants a job-related project. Have candidates showcase their skills prior to an onsite interview through a presentation, project or mock client engagement. Develop the simulation with managers and individuals in the job. Focus on skills that are harder to measure through behavioral interviewing and matter the most for successful job performance.

5. Develop a solid onboarding plan
One of the biggest mistakes employers make is assuming the recruiting process ends after hiring. At a minimum, develop a solid 30/60/90 day onboarding plan that acclimates new employees. A solid onboarding plan should include elements such as reviewing career advancement opportunities, a meet and greet with leadership, assigning a mentor, time for socializing with the team and explaining exciting aspects of the job. Progressive companies are recognizing the value of a year-long onboarding plan that supports company acclimation and buy-in.

6. Continue to engage rejected candidates
Continue to engage rejected candidates by inviting them back to your recruiting page. At a minimum, make sure you send rejected candidates future job postings that match their background and skill sets. Frequent communication to rejected candidates provides a positive image of your company and brand. It also opens the door for potential candidates to re-apply for positions more suited to their skill set/experience.

As you think about updating your recruiting processes and improving the candidate experience, start small. Take one of these tips and dig deep with key stakeholders in your business. If you’re a larger company, remember to engage all members of the business when updating recruiting processes that involve their talent. For smaller companies, sometimes it’s helpful to bring in trusted advisors to provide input and feedback. Happy Hiring!